It felt, to us at least, as if the signing of goalkeeper Adam Smith in late October 2021 came a little bit out of the blue. Boro’ were going through a rocky patch after shipping a number of goals. But between the sticks wasn’t necessarily the first part of the pitch you’d address. Or perhaps it was? Our young on loan stopper from West Ham United, Joseph Anang, wasn’t exactly used to dealing with a tough run of League Two form. Meanwhile, Sacha Bastien had fitness doubts at the time.
The deal that Smith signed at the time was only a short-term deal. And hindsight will tell us if his stay was made longer. Confirming his arrival, boss Alex Revell said: “I tried to sign Adam in the summer. He has good league experience and will now add competition with Joe and Sacha. He is a good character, and he has a great presence in goal. We have all been extremely impressed with his attitude and quality in training, and we are really pleased to welcome him to the club.”
The problem is that Revs didn’t last long after Smith’s arrival. In came Paul Tisdale, and one of his first moves in the January 2022 window was to bring in two new stoppers. If little else, that was a sign that Smith didn’t seem to have much of a future at the club. Sure enough, a second spell with us came to an end during the same window; the aforementioned Anang having also headed back to his parent club West Ham.
Adam Smith: Before Boro’
It wasn’t the first time that Smith had been on the books at Boro’. In January 2014, he came to us on a one-month loan deal; providing cover for Chris Day and Steve Arnold. Back then, he was the property of Leicester City. At the Foxes, he stepped up from the youth ranks after first starting his youth career with Middlesbrough. But first team opportunities were extremely limited and Smith spent a large chunk of the period between 2011 and 2015 out on loan.
Smith’s time with the Foxes came to an end under a cloud in 2015. On the pitch, however, you’d be able to suggest it was a blessing in disguise with some merit. Northampton Town swooped in to sign him. And the next two seasons brought a steady flow of senior action. His stay would only be a two-year one, however. Bristol Rovers moved in for him in summer 2017. Smith wasn’t able to claim the number one jersey for himself at the Memorial Ground and his two-year spell at the Gas was less than fruitful.
Next up was a move to Forest Green Rovers, but that didn’t quite have the desired effect either. Smith went to Yeovil Town on loan three times: September 2019, March 2020; and August 2020. The Glovers made him number one for the 2020-1 National League season. But it didn’t get him a permanent move to Huish Park. Instead, the stopper remained at Forest Green until we made our move in October 2021.